Ruby: How To Determine Its Quality And Price

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Ruby is one of the premier precious gemstones in the world and is among the most sought-after gems on a global scale. It is a red coloured variant of the mineral aluminum oxide that is a part of the mineral corundum family. When you consider the natural composition of ruby, the element chromium can be attributed to the well-known deep and vibrant red hue of this beautiful gemstone.


One of the most amazing properties of the gemstone ruby is its ability to absorb the incoming light and emit it after a short while, resulting in a breathtaking glow that reinforces the grace and wonder of any person who looks at a ruby.


Perception of rubies 

Throughout the course of history, rubies have been traditionally linked with prosperity and good fortune. But there are so many other qualities that rubies are associated with. In fact, rubies were extensively used as a part of royal crowns as they also represented willpower, valour, and courage. In addition, the rich colour of this gorgeous gemstone also pertains to love, passion, and raw emotion.


It is really interesting to note that sapphires may undergo a transformation into rubies if they are left in the ground for a very long period of time. Furthermore, it is also worth noting that while rubies are usually recognized for their deep red hue, they also naturally occur in other colours, from burgundy-ish to pink.


Parameters that adjourn the quality of ruby


There are essentially four main quality parameters that are utilized by the gem industry to designate the value of a ruby. These include the following:


✓ Colour


✓ Clarity


✓ Cut


✓ Carat size


We will now shed light on each of these parameters and give you insights on how you can adjourn the quality of your rubies by undertaking a precise consideration of each of these parameters.



 2.54 Carat Ruby Round

The colour is undoubtedly the USP for a ruby. When one thinks of a red gemstone, many cannot even think of any stone beyond rubies. As such, ruby is the most well-established asset of the red gemstone market, and high-quality rubies are very much in demand on a global scale. Such high-quality rubies usually display astonishingly beautiful red hues in all glory. That being said, blue sapphire comes in many shades of blue, each special in its own way.


Naturally, the cost of a ruby is a function of the darker and more vibrant stones, each commanding the highest price.


A note on the deep red colouration of ruby


Just like sapphire and emerald, ruby is a crystalline variant of the mineral aluminum oxide, which is found in the corundum family. The element chromium is the primary reason behind the deep red hue of rubies. As such, the higher the amount of chromium present, the deeper the hue of red.


One of the most interesting characteristics of rubies is their capacity to absorb natural light and re-emit it after a while, resulting in a glossy glow that adds to a ruby's enchanting and magical feel. To preserve the highest quality, the shade of the ruby's colour should ideally be neither too dark nor too bright. As the shade of the ruby changes, the quality and worth of the ruby decrease.


The gem industry considers a deep red colour wherein it feels like a fire burning within the stone, as the best quality of a ruby. This variant of rubies is the highest in demand and coveted even by ruby connoisseurs, collectors, and admirers.



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When it comes to gemstones, their clarity is naturally a pretty important factor in judging these gemstones. It is an interesting situation when it comes to coloured gemstones. You see, diamonds and coloured gemstones are never designated as flawless.


Even the highest clarity of rubies (known as 'eye-clean') may have a good number of inclusions. However, they are not visible to the naked eye and are considered a common occurrence in coloured gemstones like a ruby.  It should be noted that an eye-clean red ruby is not always practical as even the highest quality of rubies have some inclusions that are quite visible to the naked eye. As such, inclusions are considered a natural phenomenon in a ruby.


The concept of "eye-clean" does not mean that there is absolutely nothing visible to the naked eye. Rather there is a standard definition for this term in the gem industry: When viewed by a person with normal 20/20 vision, from 10-12 inches away, with the gemstone face directed towards the viewer, under an environment of diffused lighting, the gem will not have any visible inclusions.


It is worth noting that 10-12 inches is generally the distance from your eye to the surface of a table when seated at it, the way gem experts view pieces of precious stones. The orientation is the way the blue sapphire is mounted on the table.


Let's discuss some of the important factors pertaining to the clarity of gemstones:




Inclusions are characteristic "flaws" that are embedded or included inside a gemstone during the phase of its formation. In fact, the inclusions are generally due to materials that are even older than the gem per se. It is important to note that these "flaws" can be another mineral, liquid, or even gas. These are essentially unique features of a gemstone and give them a sense of uniqueness.


So just how crucial are these inclusions? Are they undesirable, or do they add some value to the ruby in question? To put it into perspective, inclusions are essentially like birthmarks that bring a dash of uniqueness to each ruby. You will be pleasantly surprised to know that minute inclusions are a sign of authentic and genuine rubies. In other words, inclusions are considered an inherent part of any ruby.


In addition, some inclusions are also considered to be an indication of heat treatment. That said it is quite obvious that the presence of many many inclusions that are visible to the naked eye would go on to lower the value, quality, and the worth of the ruby. This should not come as a surprise as extensive inclusions would naturally bring down the beauty of the ruby in question.



 Ruby & Diamond Bracelet

The cut of a gemstone is a very important parameter when it comes to judging the quality of a ruby. Indeed! All those smooth and sparkling sides of ruby have a host of minute details responsible for them. To ensure that the ruby looks as breathtakingly beautiful as possible, the sides and facets of the gemstone are created by taking into consideration several optical properties such as refractive index, light reflection, proper critical angles, and exhibition of the various hues.


Now let's find out about two very important concepts associated with the cutting of a gemstone. 


Extinction: To understand extinction, you need to know what extinction is not. It isn't when a facet of the gemstone appears darker than the other sides. Rather, it's when the dark spots appear lifeless. This is from poor cutting practices that lead to light not being reflected back to you. Thus, the gemstone will appear dead or extinct.


Window: If you are able to see completely through the gemstone with the color and facets appearing only along the edges, then this phenomenon is known as windowing. This happens when the angles at the bottom of the gem are cut lesser than the critical angles pertaining to the gemstone. So instead of light refracting and reflecting throughout the stone, it simply goes right through it. Needless to say, poor cutting practices would lead to a bad-looking window.


It is worth noting that a little bit of window can be offset through mounting of the gemstone due to the lack of backlighting. In some cases, small windows are left behind intentionally, even in good gemstones, in order to bring them closer to the desired carat weight. In other words, a small window can add a few decimals to the numerical value of the carat weight.


Carat size

 Ruby & Diamond Ring

The carat size (basically the weight of the ruby) is the least important of the four quality parameters. It should be noted that when it comes to rubies, the dimensions pertaining to the "face-up" are the most significant numbers instead of the carat weight.


Similar to how any gemstone comes with an exclusive refractive index that pertains to the reflection of light within the crystalline structure of the gem, there is also a physical property known as weight. For colored gemstones, they are typically priced per carat and this pricing depends on the size of the blue sapphire. Accordingly, the larger the size of the ruby, the more expensive it will be. To put it into perspective, larger rubies are more difficult to come by as they are rarer, and as such, they are naturally more expensive.



Get the highest quality of rubies at Iris Gems

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Iris Gems has created a reputation for itself courtesy of our superior quality of gemstones. Our penchant for unmatched quality and standards ensures that you get nothing less than the best quality of ruby at our store.


If you are looking for the finest ruby for yourself, look no further than Iris Gems. Get in touch with us today to find your perfect gemstone.